Buffaload and Hultsteins Cooling on Gas at ITTHUB
Double-deck refrigerated trailer specialist & Cold Chain Federation member Buffaload Logistics, will be demonstrating a temperature-controlled tractor trailer combination at this year’s ITTHub which, says the company, provides an immediate 20% reduction in carbon emissions from the tractor and 85% reduction from the trailer fridge – with no compromise on vehicle speed or temperature performance.
As part of Buffaload’s innovative mission to achieve net zero operations by 2025, the company invested in 43 Volvo FH tractors which run on Liquid Natural Gas. Now, to further reduce dependence on fossil fuel, a Hultsteins Ecogen Cost Saver hybrid generation unit has been added which not only runs the trailer fridge without diesel during transit, but also cuts DPM emissions by 98% and saves up to 85% on fuel.
“We are facing a climate emergency” says Buffaload CEO Ross Taylor. “Road transport causes around 40% of the pollution in the world and there are some major changes we can make right now in our industry. This unique solution enables us to slash CO2 and NOx emissions while making big cost savings on diesel, and quiet running of the fridges into the bargain.”
An Ecogen fitted to every tractor unit, can power any fridge unit with an electric motor, rather than relying on the existing diesel engine. Plus, Hultsteins has introduced a bespoke battery pack which means every fridge can continue on electric while parked.
Ecogen Cost Saver, designed and manufactured by Cold Chain Federation member Hultsteins, is a lightweight, hydraulically-driven system which can be added to any standard power take-off (PTO) of any tractor unit and plugs in to all marques of trailer refrigeration unit with mains electric operation.
A hydraulic pump drives the generator to produce constant 400V, 3-phase electrical power to the same standard as the mains supply. A pump is used rather than a belt, which acts as a gearbox to run the generator at a consistent level regardless of the engine speed, thus ensuring the voltage and AC frequency remain constant.
Buffaload recently tested an Ecogen on a Scania 6×2 for 230 hours and over 50,000kms. As well as using no fridge diesel during the trial, minimal additional fuel consumption was recorded by the tractor unit.
“At first, we couldn’t believe the figures,” says Ross Taylor, “but sure enough, the Ecogen ran the fridge unit for around two months and not a drop of diesel was burned. Effectively, we were saving an average of 4 litres every hour during transit.”
In partnership with Buffaload, says Ross, retailers, distributors and operators in the cold chain can immediately take massive steps towards reducing their carbon footprint and attain carbon neutrality for their fleet within a relatively short time frame.
“This is not just about the obvious advantages of reduced running costs,” adds Ross “but more to do with our contribution to a healthy environment, the air we breathe and global warming in general.”
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